Whether you’re the type of couple who loves to dress to the nines and hit the town for date night, or are more Netflix and chill enthusiasts, many lovebirds have had to get innovative with stay-in date nights in the past few years. And, as much as necessity breeds invention, you might be feeling like you’ve gone through all of the creative ideas you can think of. If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel of your streaming library, have tried every takeout option near you, or are just in need of something more engaging on your next date night in, you might be overlooking the perfect couple activity: video games.
The best video games for couples to play together aren’t just a fun pastime; they’re a unique tool to explore and develop your bond. Carla and Fray, of the Twitch streaming channel Couplecade say that gameplay has strengthened their relationship, since working towards a shared goal helps them develop better communication. If you’re worried that you and your SO might be too competitive to enjoy a game night together, or your varying experience levels might make selecting a game hard, there are plenty of ways to find a video game that’s the right fit for your date night. Kristen, of the Twitch channel KittyPlays, notes that — while a bit of friendly competition might be fun — “Sometimes it’s best to play a co-op game where we can work with each other instead of against each other.”
“We check in with one another to see what we want out of the particular experience, just like picking out a movie on Netflix,” Carla and Fray tell Bustle. The duo also note the importance of finding a game with a “broad spectrum of skill levels.” “If a game is too easy an experienced player may be bored, too difficult and a new player may be intimidated.”
With a bit of discussion about your strengths and preferences, you and your partner are sure to find the perfect video game fit for your relationship. But, if you’re not sure where to start, here are some of the best video games to play as a couple, according to Twitch streamers.
1. It Takes Two
Recommended by Kristen, Carla, and Fray, this platform game was practically made for couples. Playable only in two-player mode, the game follows a couple on the brink of divorce who are magically transformed into their daughter’s dolls and must work together to turn back into humans. As you could guess, the couple teamwork metaphors in this plot might spark some meaningful moments IRL. It Takes Two is available for PlayStation, XBox, Origin, and Steam via EA Games.
2. Overcooked 2
If a home-cooked dinner date night isn’t stressful enough for you, amp up the stakes with Overcooked 2, a cooperative game in which players work at bustling restaurants together. Kristen notes that it can get “very fast paced,” so it may not be the most relaxing game, but it offers a blend of cooperative and competitive. Overcooked 2 is available to play on Steam.
Nothing says, “It’s us against the world,” like fighting off an onslaught of monsters with your partner. Carla and Fray note that this game has a “great world to explore together,” and is a middle-ground for those with varying gaming experience levels. Monster Hunter: World is available to play on Steam.
Relationships are all about building something beautiful together. And who says that can’t apply to building your own pixelated world? With multiple modes, Kristen says that Minecraft offers the ability to play in high-stakes survival mode, or “you can also build an over-the-top house or castle.” Kristen suggests Minecraft “for those laid back and creative couples who want to go and explore, mess around, and vibe in a Discord room.” Minecraft is available to play through its site on your computer, mobile, console, Amazon Fire, and Oculus.
If you are a Dungeons & Dragons couple, Carla and Fray call this “the closest thing for us to a tabletop experience.” In this role-play game, you and your partner travel as a party with customizable characters throughout the ruins of the fictional realm of Rivellon. Since the game involves each player taking turns, Carla and Fray note that “it was a great game for date night as we could take it at any pace we felt like.” Divinity: Original Sin 2 is available to play on Steam.
6. Mario Kart
Nothing says a classic game night quite like Mario Kart. Suit up as your favorite Mario character, choose your ride, and explore a new course as you compete against your partner in this racing game. Since the game is fairly easy to learn, Kristen says Mario Kart is “a very manageable game” for those who don’t have much gaming experience. Mario Kart is available to play through the Nintendo online store.
If you and your S/O are already home owners, fighting off an army of rats together might be your worst nightmare. However, if you’re both excited by combat — or are fans of the Warhammer fictional universe — Vermintide 2 might be a great fit for you. Like Divinity Original Sin and D&D, the game is played in parties with a variety of classes and abilities for each character, so you and your partner can learn how to acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses throughout gameplay. “It felt great to dip into something a bit more intense and fight together side by side to clear out the levels,” say Carla and Fray. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is available to play on Steam.
“This one is for more experienced gamer couples,” say Carla and Fray. Team up with your partner as bounty hunters on a quest to track down a mythical monster before competing hunters beat you for the bounty. “Although it can be unforgiving in its difficulty, the payoff for winning with your partner is amazing,” Carla and Fray say, “It requires great teamwork and communication.” Hunt: Showdown is available to purchase on its site via Steam, PlayStation 4, XBox One, and the Crytek Shop.